Show Type: Sci-Fi
Produced: 1974-1976 (48 episodes)
Released: September 1975
Commander John Koenig..... Martin Landau
Doctor Helena Russell..... Barbara Bain
Professor Victor Bergman (1975-1976)..... Barry Morse
Maya (1976-1977)..... Catherine Schell
First Officer Tony Verdeschi (1976-1977)..... Tony Anholt
Captain Alan Carter..... Nick Tate
Paul Morrow..... Prentis Hancock
David..... Clifton Jones
Sandra..... Zienie Merton
Arra..... Margaret Leighton
Moonbase Alpha was a research colony on the moon. When John Koenig was appointed base commander in September 1999, his orders were to oversee the launch of a deep-space probe. But, due to the accidental detonation of nuclear wastes stored on the moon, there was a gigantic explosion and Koenig found himself launched into space - along with all 310 of his comrades. Their spaceship was the moon itself, blasted free from the Earth's gravitational pull and hurtling toward distant galaxies.
They encountered all sorts of alien life forms and intergalactic dangers on their travels. Among them were: a blob of living foam; sexy robots of the planet Pirl; a gigantic, people-eating squid; a man-turned-machine name Gwent and the fearsome and mythical Arra, queen of the planet Astheria. There were lots of futuristic weapons and gadgets like laser beams, "Queller Drive" engines, giant spaceships, "Camelot Locator" beams and a talking computer - which, in moments of danger, would say things like: "Not enough data to formulate parameters. Human decision required."
Other cast members included: Prof. Bergman, who had established the base and was Koenig's mentor; Dr. Helena Russell, the stylish chief medical officer and Capt. Carter, the chief astronaut, responsible for reconnaissance missions. Bergman was killed off after the first season. Joining the cast for the second season were: First Officer Tony Verdeschi, sharp-tongued second-in-command and his girlfriend, Maya, a sexy alien from the planet Psychon. She had the ability to transform herself into other forms (an orange tree, a lion, a gorilla, etc...) for short periods of time by "rearranging molecules."
Space: 1999 hit TV screens in 1975 amid a wave of publicity because this was the most expensive show of its kind ever produced in the history of television, coming in at around $300,000 an episode. There were spectacular special effects by England's Brian Johnson and all the costumes were created by famous designer, Rudi Gernreich. The cast was headed by husband-and-wife stars Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, making a comeback in TV after starring in the highly successful, Mission: Impossible.
The series was scheduled to run in more than 100 countries, but all three of the U.S. networks turned it down. The English producers took it directly to individual stations, via syndication, and got it scheduled in practically every city in the country. Many stations preemted network programming to put it on and there were much bragging rights in the press about how all the networks had missed the boat. However, after the curiosity wore off, the viewing audience realized that Space: 1999 had the same problem as most space epics: all flash and no character development or real stories to follow. It never really became the hit everyone had anticipated, so after 48 very expensive episodes, production was cancelled.
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